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By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

 The Washburn Ichabods will open their sixth NCAA softball postseason appearance with a familiar foe as the Ichabods will take on No. 12-ranked Central Oklahoma at 2 p.m. Thursday in Claremore, Oklahoma.

MarritMeadNE 2Marrit Mead, Washburn University

 JayceeGinterSOFTBALL 1Jaycee Ginter, Washburn University

Washburn enters the postseason with a 37-15 record after going 1-1 at the MIAA Tournament in Edmond, Okla. last weekend.

The Ichabods and the Bronchos have not met since the opening weekend of MIAA play on March 8, with Washburn falling to UCO, 6-2 and 2-1.

Washburn trails the all-time series with UCO 30-17, losing the last nine games in a row.

The Ichabods' last win over the Bronchos was on April 20, 2019 in a 5-1 win in Edmond.

Washburn has secured its 19th season with at least 30 wins and its fourth under head coach Brenda Holaday.

Hitting the 30-win mark for the third straight season is the longest streak since the Ichabods won at least 30 games in six straight seasons from 2002-07.

Holaday is in her eighth season as the Ichabod softball head coach, recording a 252-147 overall record and 113-59 in MIAA contests. Holaday has led the Ichabods to two MIAA regular-season titles (2018, 2022) and NCAA Central Regional berths in those years as well. Holaday trails Lisa Carey as Washburn's all-time winningest coach by victories at 256.

Sophomore Sadie Walker is 28th in the nation in wins and leading the MIAA with 20 victories. She is 20th in games started (28) and 19th in shutouts (7) and 43rd in earned run average at 1.58.

Marrit Mead will become Washburn's all-time leader in at-bats this weekend (currently sits at 703), passing Mandy Tarbutton (706). Mead broke the Ichabod program stolen bases record earlier this year and has a career total of 95 entering the weekend. Her 271 career hits is also tops in school history and she is first in career doubles with 59.

Jaycee Ginter faced her 3,000th batter in the circle last weekend in Edmond and she is one RBI from tying the school's all-time record of 167. Her 85 career pitching wins is the most all-time at Washburn and her 144 career pitching appearances are tops at WU. Ginter holds the Ichabod record for career strikeouts with 791, which is 341 more than the second-place holder.

Washburn Ichabods is 0-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

UCO will be making its 11th national tournament appearance in 13 years, including the fifth straight. The Bronchos are the No. 3 seed in the eight team Central Region.

UCO has a 43-33 record in 15 previous appearances in the Division II national tournament. The Bronchos captured regional titles in 2006, 2012, 2013 and 2023 in advancing to the World Series, winning the national championship in 2013 and making to the semifinals last year.

Central Oklahoma's Terin Ritz and Shayleigh Odom claimed two of the top individual awards on the All-MIAA softball team that were released last week, with Ritz named co-player of the year and Odom selected defensive player of the Year.

Ritz was joined on the first-team All-MIAA squad by shortstop Emily Deramus and outfielder Rylee Lemos, with outfielder Jacee Minter and pitcher Jordyn Pipkin picking up second-team accolades.

UCO is 42-12 overall and went 21-5 in the MIAA.

Ritz is batting .377 while driving in 57 runs with 18 home runs and going 20-6 in the circle with a 1.54 ERA.

The Ichabods will face either Rogers State or Southern Nazarene on Friday at a time to be determined.

NCAA REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Thursday
GAME 1 | 2:00 PM | No. 3 seed Central Oklahoma vs. No. 6 seed Washburn      
GAME 2 | 4:30 PM | No. 2 seed Rogers State vs. No. 7 seed Southern Nazarene

Friday
GAME 3 | 11:00 AM | Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
GAME 4 | 1:30 PM | Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2         
GAME 5 | 4:00 PM | Loser of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4
 
Saturday
GAME 6 | 1:00 PM | Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5
GAME 7 | 3:30 PM | **If necessary**


 

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